One Green Thing Leads to Another
I used to think that I was doing my part to keep Mother Earth beautiful by turning the water off while brushing my teeth, repurposing old clothing into cleaning rags and changing my incandescent light bulbs to the fluorescent ones. It wasn’t until I started working for a video conferencing and telepresence company that I realized how much more I could do and how simple it would be to do it. While many people recognize the ability of visual communications to replace travel and therefore reduce costs and carbon footprint, there are other ways the technology promotes environmental responsibility.
For example,by eliminating the out of sight out of mind trust barriers that many telecommuters face it increases teleworking and the associated carbon savings. Because I use mobile video on my laptop, I have immediate visual access to anyone in the world and they can also have a face-to-face conversation with me anytime they want. This is critical for remote workers concerned with getting enough face time and for managers who want to see that their remote and home workers are really sitting at their desks getting their jobs done. I have committed to teleworking from home at least one day a week using telepresence to stay connected to my colleagues.
On the days I drive to work, I carpool. Not only does carpooling save me 15 minutes during morning rush hour – thanks to the HOV lane – by using a Commuter Cost Calculator I’ve been able to determine that I’m saving $31.62 and 123.82 lbs of carbon per week by keeping my car off the road. When you add to that my savings from teleworking one day a week, I’m saving an additional $4.52 and 17.69 lbs of carbon per week. This is a total savings of $36.14 (half my grocery bill) and 141.51 lbs of carbon per week. Imagine if everyone had the ability to telework what the savings would be!
In addition to the cost and carbon savings, teleworking has helped me attain better work/life balance because I don’t have to waste two hours a day of my life stuck in traffic. I essentially create more time in my day by eliminating my commute, which allows me to get more done and spend more time with my family. Being able to save 141.51 lbs of carbon per week and having more time to spend with my family sure makes me feel a lot better than just turning the water off while I brush me teeth.
What green practices, if any, have you implemented recently?